Monday, November 14, 2011
Strained: Jimmie Page
The roar of the crowd was deafening as Jimmie finished her set. She used every ounce of energy she had to make her last song her best, and when she finished, the crowd erupted again.
"Thank you! Good night!"
Out of breath and covered in a thin sheen of sweat she hurried off stage, through the maze of rigging and instruments, being flanked by security on one side and her manager on the other.
"Excellent show, Jim," Ashur, her stalwart manager, shouted over the din of the crowd as he hurried her towards the tour bus, draping a towel over her shoulder. "Now! It's eighteen hours to the next city and you've got three signings and an interview at KSIM in Siminneapolis before your next show. The reps from Impact called, by the way, and when we get back to Simberry, it's straight to the recording studio to finish up that track you're doing for the movie, that, that...."
"Caesar’s Ghost?" Jimmie panted, mopping at the back of her neck.
"Yes! That's it."
"That's great, Ashur," Jimmie sighed, exiting out of the arena and into the cool night air. She made a B-line for her tour bus, and offered her manager an unconvincing smile as she threw the door open and climbed in. "See you in Simmneapolis!"
She slammed the door behind her, and tossed her towel aside. Taking a deep breath she pressed her eyes closed and sighed aloud.
Her adrenaline rush was starting to wane already, and she knew from experience that it was only a matter of time before exhaustion set in.
She stripped out of the eye-catching outfit she'd worn on stage that night, and pulled out her comfiest pair of pajamas. She washed the ten-pounds of makeup off her face, and brushed through her hair, tying it loosely into a braid before she collapsed onto her bed.
Flipping through a magazine - somewhere between eager to see the article that was written about her, and dreading it completely - she let her mind wander. She wondered how her dogs were faring at home, way back in Simberry. She wondered how the remodeling of her grandmother's house was going. She wondered if the beaches were closing up for the season yet or not, and she wondered how long she would be able to put off going back into the studio once she arrived home.
It wasn't that she didn't love her job. She had dreamed of being in the spotlight since she was a child, always performing in school plays and singing at talent competitions. She had just never expected things to blow up the way they had; she never expected it to go so far.
Now, at the tail end of a thirty city tour, with another international one planned for kick-off in only a few short months, she wondered if she had the stamina for it.
She didn't have long to ponder it, with a knock sounding on the door of the bus. She briefly pondered telling the intruder to go away, but instead she tossed her magazine down and called wearily, "Com'on in!"
It wasn't a moment before Leander Snow's happy face peered in her doorway, and he climbed up.
"Bonzer show tonight, Jim!" He announced, grinning from ear to ear, still dressed in his own on-stage outfit.
Jimmie gave him a tired smile. "I take it that means 'good'?"
The Aussie laughed, "It means great! Spectacular! You really gave 'em somethin' to talk about tonight. I dunno how you just get better and better."
Jimmie rolled her eyes, "I don't know if I do. But thanks, Leander. So, are you all ready to tuck in?"
"Nah!" He declared,"No way! I've got a few new songs I'm workin' on, need to get 'em polished up by the time we get back to Simberry! That and I've got to get a bite of somethin' to eat, and I've got a pretty girl that needs emailin'."
Jimmie's eyebrows shot up, and she grinned at him. "Is that right?"
"Oh, yeah. Avery. She's a darlin'."
"Meet her on the tour, did you? Be careful of those groupies, Leander. You never know what you're gonna get with them!"
"Nah, Jim! A friend o' mine introduced me to her back in Simberry. Dunno if she's interested in me really - we haven't seen much of each other - but she's... she's….”
Jimmie chuckled at the sudden, dreamy expression on his face. “Bonzer?” She offered, and he threw his head back and laughed.
“Exactly! Well, better go. G’night Jim!”
Alone again, Jimmie laid back and spread out on her bed. It was sweet that Leander had a girl – someone to go home to, or at least look forward to seeing. Jimmie frowned in the darkness, and suddenly she wondered, what good was all the recognition, all the accomplishment, if at the end of the day, you have no one to share it with?